Trump speaks with Israel's Netanyahu as tensions simmer in region

Trump speaks with Israel's Netanyahu as tensions simmer in region
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday amid simmering tensions in the Middle East. 

A readout of the phone call issued by the White House said the two leaders "agreed to continue their close coordination on countering Iran’s malign influence and destabilizing activities" in the region. 

The phone call comes as protests rage in Gaza, along Israel's southern border. Palestinian medics said Tuesday that a protester had been killed by Israeli forces, raising the reported death toll of the clashes to 17, according to Reuters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Palestinians have vowed weeks of demonstrations to protest Israel's decade-old blockade of the territory and their removal from ancestral lands seven decades ago when the state of Israel was established.

The conversation between Trump and Netanyahu also follows the U.S. president's suggestion that he could pull troops out of Syria "very soon."

Trump has voiced support in recent days for an early withdrawal from the war-torn country. Such a move, however, would go against the advice of many national security officials, who have warned that a U.S. presence is needed in the country to keep Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants at bay and stave off Iranian influence in the region.

Former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe four China strategies Trump or Biden will need to consider Trump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet How the US could respond to Russia's support of the Taliban MORE, who was unceremoniously fired by Trump last month, previously laid out a plan for an indefinite U.S. military presence in Syria.

Trump also fielded phone calls with Gulf leaders this week, including Saudi King Salman on Monday and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Tuesday. Those calls, according to the White House, hinged on the ongoing dispute between Qatar and several Gulf states.